Saturday 10 December 2016

Recipes: Dorcas Barry says comfort food can be healthy too, without losing any of its warming appeal

Dorcas Barry

Published 08/01/2012 | 06:00

For me, it's so important that healthy food is really delicious. It should make your mouth water with anticipation and your tastebuds zing.

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During the winter months when the cold and wet weather attracts us to comfort food, it's great if it is good for us, too.

Along with being super tasty and a long-time family favourite, the chicken lemon tagine also delivers lots of nutritional content. Chickpeas add additional protein along with high levels of minerals, including calcium and fibre, and promote the production of the happy hormone, serotonin.

Turmeric is a high antioxidant superfood, known to help with easing aches and inflammation and also supporting liver function.

This dish is great for preparing ahead. It will happily sit until you're ready to eat. It can also be reheated the next day with great results.

The warming soup provides slow-release energy with the cannellini beans and a superfood boost with the sprouted seeds.

Kale is a wonderful native green in Ireland and is a fantastic source of beta-carotene, along with vitamin C and minerals, delivering powerful anti-cancer substances.

Look out for kale from a local grower or farmer's market, supporting our local Irish food producers, while keeping food miles to a minimum.

Eating healthily doesn't need to mean missing out on dessert. If you use natural unrefined sugars, you will begin to notice that regular sugar becomes oversweet.

Highback Orchard Syrup is a wonderful organic Irish syrup made only from apples with no sugar added. It works wonderfully well with the baked apples, giving a sweetness with an almost lemony kick.

Keep an eye out for Aine sugar-free dark chocolate, one of the highest-quality Irish-made chocolates available and perfect for this recipe.

I hope you enjoy these recipes.

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